The more Mrs McGillicuddy thought, the more complex the picture that was forming. She thought about the widespread use of cigarettes amongst the villagers (the ‘tolerated drug tribe’), the way in which people spoke of their need for painkillers as if this was a constant preoccupation (the ‘instrumental drug tribe’).
And she was soon shaken by Lucy’s announcement after a few days in the Crackenthorpe house that there was a trade in illegal drugs led by the Crackenthorpe family, and staffed by residents from the old Council house estate. Lucy was convinced that the drugs trade gave the Crackenthorpe family a continuing status in the village and provided the only substantive source of income that enabled them to maintain the large house and its estate.
Jane’s absence searching for the body on the train enabled Mrs McGillicuddy to study her book more carefully. She came to the chapter on the core elements in the culture of addiction and thought she should get to grips with this before launching into actions to change Jane’s behaviour.
First of all, language – how much of Jane’s conversations were focussed on drinking alcohol? Certainly, as she had realised when she told Jane of the murder, alcohol was the chosen method for coping with any crisis or stress. You only had to stay a day or two with Jane to realise how alcohol was a kind of clock marking the stages of the day, the aperitif before lunch, the wine to aid the digestion over lunch etc.